It is unclear if seedlings of ‘Tardiva’ hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Tardiva’, below) are identical to the parent, but there is no doubt that seedlings derive from this late summer flowering hydrangea. Flowers of the seedlings, in two places bordering the koi pond, are not ideally placed, but roots are solidly entrenched and difficult to get to, so both shrubs will be cut back severely a few times each year so they don’t become troublesome. The likelihood that they’ll reach a size large enough to compare to the parent is remote.
Just beyond the pond, towering above a Lion’s Head Japanese maple with a seedling hydrangea pruned to tuck neatly beneath, ‘Tardiva’ is now reaching full bloom. I wonder how this splendid hydrangea has been nearly forgotten in garden centers with the flood of new introductions, which are fine plants, but not superior to this relative old timer.
At the low end of the koi pond, past the stacked stone that retains the pond’s bog area, is a Bald cypress with pendulous branching (Taxodium distichum ‘Cascade Falls’). Trees of this sort must be staked while young, or grafted so that there is a trunk so that branches do not crawl across the ground.
‘Cascade Falls’ is a graceful weeper and a vigorous grower in this damp ground. Select branches will be encouraged to weave through neighbors, while other branches must be pruned so this tree does not overwhelm the area.
Several seedlings have been observed, both closeby and across the garden, closer to the neighbor’s very large Dawn redwood (Metasequoia). The trees are similar in appearance, but distinguished by opposing leaves on the Dawn redwood (above), and alternating on the Bald cypress (below). The seedlings are identified as Bald cypress, and typical of many seedlings, not identical to the cascading form of the parent, but upright in the typical bald cypress habit. Without space for such a tree these must be weeded out.
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Does that bald cypress work as a ground cover?
It would if it did not have the three foot tall trunk. It would make an excellent ground cover with low, arching branches.
That is interesting. The species is rare here. This is one of the few places in American where it never became popular, even though it can do well here. There are two in two separate landscapes at work, but there is only one other in the region that I am aware of. I know nothing about the species.
Autumn foliage color is the priority here, so maples are the predominant shade tree. Bald cypress is seen on occasion, but most would think it was an evergreen.
One of ours was thought to be a dawn redwood, which I rather dislike (where coastal redwoods are native). There happens to be a real dawn redwood, as well as a giant redwood here, to demonstrate the differences to guests.
Really enjoy your articles. Keep them coming!